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Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

On May 5th, the Endeavor Investor Network convened growth market leaders in New York City for a day of networking and learning. The invitation-only event gathered over 120 participants including Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading investors […]

May 13th, 2015 — by admin

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Lebanon’s Diwanee Media Announces Majority Acquisition by French Publishing Company Webedia

Diwanee, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Herve Cuviliez and Delphine Edde, recently announced a majority acquisition by the Paris-based digital media publishing company Webedia, which also injected $5 million in expansion capital into the company. Cited as one […]

March 24th, 2014 — by admin

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Next Web features Osker Hjertonsson as “Gringo” entrepreneur in Latin America

Swedish Endeavor Entrepreneur Oskar Hjertonsson was featured in a recent Next Web article, Latin American Startups: Nine ‘Gringos’ You Should Know. The article profiles nine successful European and American entrepreneurs who have chosen to make Latin America home to their startup companies, in hopes of taking advantage of the growing number of economic opportunities in that region.

Oskar’s story is highlighted as follows:

Oskar Hjertonsson, as you may guess from his name, is a Swedish entrepreneur. Oskar is based in Santiago, Chile. Currently Groupon‘s General Manager for Latin America, he helped building out the daily deals website in the region. Indeed, Groupon entered the local market in June 2010 by acquiring Clandescuento.com, the daily discount site he had created a few months earlier. It wasn’t Oskar’s first company in Chile as he had already co-founded the classifieds website Needish in 2007.

Besides his role at Groupon, Oskar is also a private investor in startups. According to his AngelList profile, he “invests in 5 startups at US$25k a year.” One of these companies is the event planning service Welcu, the only Chilean company that participated in 500 Startups’ acceleration cycle this summer (see our previous story).

The full article can be found here.

Wences Casares launches new endeavor, Lemon

Endeavor Entrepreneur and Global Board Member Wences Casares has already created numerous successful companies including (Patagon.com, MECK, and Wanako Games) and been an influential mentor and angel investor.

Wences latest endeavor is the launch of Lemon, a free cloud-based receipt organizer and spending tracker. The service lets users store and organize email and paper receipts in the cloud to help them keep track of purchases, eliminate clutter and start spending smarter. To upload paper receipts, people can download a mobile app and simply snap a picture of the receipt. Lemon will subsequently digitize and store the data. Digital receipts – from any retailer, the company claims – can be sent directly to one’s Lemon account (which comes with a personal @lemon.com email address).

Additionally, Lemon squeezes out all the juicy details receipts contain to help you stay organized, see where your money goes and save some cash along the way. Lemon extracts data from each receipt down to the product-level detail to generate insightful reports and graphs that illustrate spending trends, make it
easy to prepare for tax time or submit expense reports.

Over time, Lemon will also offer users targeted discounts and promotions from relevant brands and retailers based on their spending habits, giving users access to exclusive deals, future discounts on products they purchase often and personalized offers from their favorite brands.

Panel: CEO best practices for scaling fast-growth companies [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Panelists:

Leo Tilman: President, L.M. Tilman & Co, Faculty at Columbia University and author of Financial Darwinism

Jeff Housenbold: President and CEO, Shutterfly; former eBay Executive

Gina Bianchini: Former CEO, Ning; has been listed in Fortune’s “40 under 40″

Tricia Tomlinson: SVP, Human Resources, Genomic Health

Full transcript:

Leo: At this panel, “CEO Best Practices for Scaling Fast Growth Companies,” we wanted to talk about the challenges facing CEOs of fast growth companies, compare and contrast that with challenges that face leaders of large and complex organizations, and leverage the lessons learned, so that we can anticipate and prepare as your companies change and also as environments change. And we wanted to take as holistic a view of these topics as possible and talk about strategic vision of these firms, organizational alignment and culture, and even touch on some of the topics that are not particularly common in these discussions, such as risk management. And we know that when it all comes together, not only do your organizations get excited as people get countless problems to solve, and get very exciting and engaging jobs, but contribute to economic growth, and last but not least, it presents all of you with amazing opportunities for self-discovery.

On that note, I am very privileged to moderate a panel of truly visionary executives and entrepreneurs. Each one of us will take five minutes to talk broadly about the challenge at hand and then we’ll turn it into the Q&A. (more…)

Egypt 2.0: The investor perspective

Reprinted from Wamda.com. See the original post here.

By Nina Curley

Spring’s fervent revolution has given way to a dry summer in Egypt. As demonstrators streamed back into Cairo’s Tahrir Square last week to protest the prime minister’s new cabinet, benchmark index EGX 30 ebbed to a two-month low, only 20 points above its March nadir. With the World Bank predicting that the country’s economic growth will sink to 1% this year, given hits to vital tourism and industry sectors, the pace of recovery threatens to emulate a Cairene rush hour.

Yet, as Walid Bakr of Abraaj Capital’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investment fund, Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), attests, there is no time like the present for investing in scaling small businesses in Egypt. Last year, SMEs provided an estimated 80% of Egypt’s employment while producing only 25% of GDP, demonstrating a clear productivity gap and opportunity for growth. 

Now, Bakr sees SME investment opportunities accelerating over the next few years, as post-revolution spirit fuels public interest in entrepreneurship while short-term economic downturn drives small businesses to approach global markets more quickly.

Wamda spoke to Bakr about how an investor approaches the tumultuous Egyptian market, and what the government can do, aside from extending import and export license validity, to entice investors to rebuild the Land of the Nile.

Is now a good time to think about investing in Egypt?

Yes. While the revolution has brought about significant reforms, order has been restored much faster than anyone expected.

There has been short-term adverse impact on the economy, yet because, as a private equity firm, we invest in long-term growth opportunities, I don’t forsee long-term negative impact on our operations, for the following reasons:

Firstly, more companies will be looking to diversify and scale, due to cash flow pressures and the realization of new markets opening up. Thus we will be able to access more opportunities in the market.

Secondly, I predict a general rise in entrepreneurial activity. For the first time in Egypt, we have a young labor force that is highly motivated for a better future. Sixty per cent of the population is under the age of 30, and for many years, this labor force had few options for growth. Yet today, people are repainting the streets and looking to rebuild businesses here.

Are any sectors a better bet for investment than any others?

While Egypt has large advantages in certain sectors, such as tourism- due to the fact that it holds two-thirds of the world’s monuments- we look for sectors that are less saturated so that we can invest in a few winners. There are certain sectors we prefer, but these days it pays to be sector-agnostic in this region, because many sectors are still developing and there are attractive opportunities across the board.

How have the revolutions affected SMEs?

Of the two Egyptian companies that RED has invested in, commodity trading company AgroCorp and IT services and consulting firm OMS, Agrocorp has fared slightly better, as it exports 100% of its products and was able to manage any operational disruptions in Egypt.

OMS, which conducts 50-60% of its business in Egypt, was more affected by local banking closures and clients delaying payment. Ironically however, both benefitted from the situation due to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

In general, businesses that address a purely local market have been affected the most. Many local companies that were in the lead are coming back to the drawing board and realizing they should diversify their market and seek investment in order to scale.

Will the current economic climate push Egyptian companies towards exporting?

Yes. I think that companies are assessing the bigger picture and increasingly looking to export their products and knowledge.

For a company selling physical products and goods, a natural first step is towards regional expansion, because companies can take advantage of fewer tariffs between Arab countries. North Africa is also a natural gateway to the larger, swiftly growing African market.

In the tech space, it makes more sense to go global, as the barriers to entry are much lower. The Levant and Egypt together are becoming a global hub of tech development that is competitive with India. I think we won’t have to wait long to see another big global company emerge from Egypt.

Endeavor September 2011 newsletter

To view Endeavor’s September newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of our homepage.

Experience is everything: a field report from Experiencia Argentina (Part 3 of 3)

By Mark Horoszowski (reprinted from his blog, Aspen to Nepal)

Two weeks ago at the Endeavor event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Endeavor network member David Frazee, a Partner at K&L Gates LLP., gave a riveting talk with incredible lessons for social entrepreneurs, start-ups, and high impact enterprises. Inspired by his talk, here are 16 lessons for anybody making a positive social and/or environmental impact with their business:

1. Preserve the magic of the company | Your culture is everything. Don’t ever let is pass, fade, or get put on the backburner.

2. Do not change the flashy models | Your model that makes you successful is your model. Don’t change it to try and get funding or publicity.

3. Hire people who love start-ups | Big business is not a start-up, and people coming from big business, regardless of their CV’s, do not necessarily know how to make start-ups work.

4. Be creative with your negotiations | Don’t take no for an answer if no is the wrong answer. Be persistent and innovative to get around hurdles.

5. Tame gorillas with equity tranquilizer guns | A little equity changes you from a commodity to a partner. If you need to create a long-lasting, healthy relationship, consider adding equity in addition to monetary incentives.

6. Remember your family and life | If it were easy, everybody would be rich. Start-ups require a ton of work. But start-ups come and go, families are forever. Don’t ever forget that.

7. Give correct incentives | Align incentives with company objectives, which must increase the overall value of the company, not only reward specific positions or departments.

8. Have and understand the financial model | If you can’t monetize, you won’t have money. If you don’t understand your business model, it probably means you don’t have a business.

9. Do not work for someone stupider than you | Self-explanatory. Work where you are appreciated, understood, and have the capacity to add value. The corollary is also true – work with people better than you. By extension, don’t always work people that agree with you.

10. Avoid death from rapid growth | Don’t grow too fast without systems and processes to manage it

11. Build good systems, but deliver product | Point #10 is important, but remember, the best processes are nothing if you can’t ship product. You must prepare for success.

12. Never, ever, mention a corporate jet | Big spending is a leading indicator of stupidity. Lean and mean is the only sustainable approach for any social enterprise.

13. Be promiscuous on innovation | Make it sexy to innovate, and never stop.

14. Hire the best: Overpay. Fire the worst: Now. | The best people are worth every dollar and stock. The worst kill morale and hinder progress. It might be tough to stomach, but pay the right people more than what they are worth, and kill the cancer right away.

15. Cherish great advisers and strategy | Strategy is not a free commodity. But whether you pay for it or get it for free, make sure to adopt it.

16. Remember friends and invest in the community | Always give more than you take. To teach is to learn twice. A lot of people with blood on their feet wore the path smooth for you. Make sure to do same for others.

“There is no limit to intellectual capital – we can always create. Whether you win or fail, you will do something extraordinary that will change your life.” – David Frazee

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Co-Found Idea.me

Reprinted from The Argentina Independent. See the original post here.

By Mia de Graaf

“Art is a community effort,” said Allen Ginsberg in the mid-20th century. Fast forward a few decades, movements, and tech developments and he’d see the same mentality being used to reboot innovation in Latin American art through cyber-community, Ideame.

Ideame, co-founded by [Endeavor Entrepreneurs] Mariano Suarez Battán and Tiburcio De la Carcova, [Endeavor Global Network Member] Juan Pablo Cappello, and Sebastian Uchitel, is young – three and a half weeks old, to be exact. But already it has a host of contributors:

“My project is to paint more than 100 canvases from a light aircraft bombing them with water balloons filled with…” This is Defi Gagliardo’s vision, The Flying Bombing, that has so far raised US$637 through idea.me, a crowd funding website for artistic and creative projects in Latin America. Though it is only 5% of Gagliardo’s required budget, there are, as the website points out, still 21 days left for aspiring producers that are interested to chip in themselves.

Gagliardo’s is one of over 25 projects on the website, all proposed by Latin American artists – each one with their native flag sitting beside their name. Argentine Gimena Macri wants to make hand-made books full of photos from “a journey”. Batsu Jump are a group looking to fund the creation of an online magazine. Chilean artist Marco Silva intends to make a documentary: “it’s about a small abandoned village in northern Chile. San Pedro Station, in the Atacama desert.” Silva is on US$189, in need of more, but further than he could ever have got from scratch on his own.

Having worked on the project for the last 6 months, and their efforts finally coming to fruit, the team already have their sights set high. So far the projects are all Chilean or Argentine; “our short term plans include Mexico and Colombia,” says Sebastian Uchitel, co-founder and CEO of the organisation.

He continues: “In Latin America, lack of capital, and lack of community support keeps thousands of designers, artists, techies, inventors, filmmakers and other artists from realizing to their amazing ideas. Some of these ideas could become products, works of art, or experiences that could change the world.”

Indeed, each little box on your screen is full to burst with ambition and excitement, as the slogan banner tells you to “Search projects. To be a producer.” With contributions flooding in already, this seems to be just that little bit more than a pipedream.

For more information or to join in yourself producing and creating go to www.idea.me.

eMBA Field Report: ‘Me Encanta Uruguay’

Abdullah Alshalabi is an MBA student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and was an eMBA at Todomedia in Uruguay.

I was lucky enough to do an internship with Endeavor and even luckier to do it with Todomedia in Uruguay. You may say that I’m exaggerating, but I swear I’m not. First, I’m from Kuwait and I don’t think any Kuwaiti has ever been in Uruguay. Secondly, Uruguay won Copa America while I was there, now this is a GREAT coincidence.

I did this internship along with one of my best friends, Rufino de La Rosa from Spain, and without him I would definitely have gotten lost in this Spanish world. The project was to assist the company with developing a new product and to build a business plan for this new product. We started our project with understanding the industry and understanding our clients through conducting many face-to-face interviews, phone interviews and surveys. After understanding our client’s needs, we developed our product and currently working in developing our marketing strategy and the financial model.

The work in Todomedia was interesting and fun at the same time. Uruguay was a big part of making this internship so exciting. One of Endeavor employees asked me to “Describe Uruguay in four words?” and I answered:

– Friendly people
– Football
– Meat
– Mate (A local drink)

Uruguayan people are SUPER friendly. People in Todomedia and Endeavor were extremely nice, and to me this makes all the difference. They made me feel like being at home when I was so far away from Kuwait. We exchanged a lot of culture experiences (as you can see below).

I have to say — football is a big thing over here. It was always fun watching the Uruguay national team playing in Copa America with our Uruguayan friends. The fact that they won the cup is just amazing. We had lots of fun celebrating the winning and had lots of good memories. Additionally, we were playing football almost every week, either with Todomedia or with Endeavor.

Furthermore, the best meat (beef) I ever tasted in my life was cooked by Todomedia CEO, Sebastian Lateulade. He cooked it for an event called Asado. What is Asado? A monthly barbecue social event in Uruguay. Seriously, the meat was so good that we were discussing opening a restaurant back in Kuwait.

Finally, let me tell you about something special about being Uruguayan. It’s called Mate. Mate is a local drink, non-alcoholic, that you can’t find any place to buy, but you will find everyone drinking it. You should prepare Mate yourself or if you are lucky enough someone will offer it to you. Uruguayan people enjoy spending their weekend afternoons drinking Mate in front of the sea, and I enjoyed doing that as well. I got addicted to Mata and hopefully I will be able to drink it in other parts of the World.

The eMBA internship in Uruguay was one of the best experiences I’ll ever come along and it showed me how a small country can have such ambition. Hopefully one day I’ll get to go back!

eMBA Field Report: My rewarding time in Santiago, Chile

By Endeavor eMBA Norikazu Tamura

My 8-week eMBA program in Santiago, Chile is finally done with a slight feeling of sadness.

I worked for Endeavor Entrepreneur Jorge Nazer at ALTO, a company dedicated to preventing, persecuting, and deterring theft through IT solutions. In addition to consulting on strategy, I focused on developing the business plan for an innovative website. 

My experience was challenging but definitely rewarding. Working in Spanish gave me a chance to learn the language, and I appreciated the opportunity of getting a first-hand look at what it’s like working for a startup.

After my final presentation to Jorge, he gave me excellent feedback and career advice–not only for becoming an entrepreneur, but becoming a leader in any organization. He taught me the importance of giving and creating value for others, in the spirit of noblesse oblige.

I am much more interested in entrepreneurship now and seriously thinking about starting my own company in the near future. In the meantime, I’d like to thank all the people I met on my “Endeavor journey” — Endeavor, the other eMBAs, and my colleagues at ALTO. Thanks for the wonderful experience!

Endeavor participates in Kauffman Fellows Program, focused on venture capital

The following is a reprint of a Business Wire press release available in full here.

SAN FRANCISCO — Two Endeavor directors, Allen Taylor (Director, Global Networks, Endeavor Global) and Carmen Saad (Managing Director, Endeavor Jordan), have been admitted to the Kauffman Fellowship – a highly competitive two-year program dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new high-tech, high-impact companies. They are the third and fourth members of the program from Endeavor.

“Endeavor is strongly committed to promoting investment in emerging markets and catalyzing local investor communities,” said Endeavor President Fernando Fabre who recently completed the Fellowship along with Rodrigo Teles, Managing Director of Endeavor Brazil. “Endeavor’s strong presence at Kauffman Fellows is an important way to introduce the US venture capital community to the exciting opportunities in developing countries.”

“Endeavor was the first organization to grasp the importance of our mission to bring smart, connected values-driven innovation capital to all entrepreneurs who need it, regardless of region or stage of growth,” says Phil Wickham, President and CEO of the Center for Venture Education (which administers the Kauffman Fellows Program). “While their impact on our success in Latin America in just two years has been remarkable, we think we are just scratching the surface in terms of how we can work together to empower entrepreneurs globally.”

Only thirty Kauffman Fellowships are offered each year. They take the form of “practical apprenticeships” which include professional coaching, mentoring by senior partners, and quarterly sessions of industry and leadership curricula conducted in Palo Alto, California. As lifetime members of the Society of Kauffman Fellows, Taylor and Saad – along with Endeavor itself – join a network that links together hundreds of investment firms collectively deploying $50B in venture capital.

Phil Wickham participated in the recent Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, speaking on a panel on the “State of Venture Capital.” The Summit also featured a Silicon Valley Trek (Emerging Market Venture Day), hosted by Endeavor’s Investor Network, which brought together investors with over a dozen fast-growing Endeavor companies. The Summit and Silicon Valley Trek marked a milestone for Endeavor’s California office; since opening in 2009, the office has strengthened ties between emerging market entrepreneurs and the Silicon Valley VC community.

“Both Kauffman Fellows and Endeavor Entrepreneurs are now critical human components to the innovation and entrepreneurial engines of the global economy,” asserts Jason Green, a founder of Emergence Capital Partners, who serves on Endeavor’s Global Board and is a member of the Charter Class of Kauffman Fellows. “Seeing them come together is an extremely powerful concept with multiplicative impact for both organizations and the world. I’m most proud to see the give back mentality inherent in both organizations’ values and am incredibly excited to see their impact together for decades to come.”

About The Kauffman Fellows Program

The Kauffman Fellows Program is administered by the Center for Venture Education, a 501(c)(3) post-graduate educational institution dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship throughout society. The mission of the Kauffman Fellows Program is to identify, develop, and network emerging global leaders in venture capital. Success means that entrepreneurs are building stronger, more enduring companies and, correspondingly, venture investors are realizing enhanced returns. To date, Kauffman Fellows have made $6 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in hundreds of new enterprises, $15 billion in annually recurring revenues, and the creation of 5

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